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Where to Find — And How to Pay For — Home Care

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istock_000014371816small_w640Following a hospital or rehabilitation center stay, some patients may need additional skilled medical care at home as well as assistance with activities like bathing, dressing and cooking. That’s where home care comes in. When Bethany Village resident Bill needed help to get back on his feet after three heart attacks and triple bypass surgery, he accessed the rehabilitation services at Bethany Village and the services of Graceworks at Home nurses and therapists.

If you are having elective surgery or if you have decided you or a family member needs some help with everyday activities, spend some time thinking about what’s required and search for agencies that meet your profile.

For a list of licensed agencies, contact your state departments of health, aging and social services. In addition, most state home care and hospice associations have home care directories and can help you identify an appropriate provider. Home care organizations also are listed online. You can also check with your local Area Agency on Aging or a local chapter of the United Way. Your faith community may have information as well.

Family members, friends and co-workers are likely to have been in the same situation or may know of someone who has searched for home care. Try to find out as much as you can about how they found their provider and what their experience was like. Finally, don’t overlook Internet resources such as, which maintains a comprehensive directory of prescreened senior care providers.

The cost of home care varies depending on the type of provider and the services required. The patient can pay directly from his/her private funds or may use insurance.

  • Medicare pays for home care and durable medical equipment when certain conditions are met.
  • Medigap (private) insurance coverage is designed to handle fees Medicare does not cover and varies according to type of policy.
  • Based on financial need, Medicaid will cover most skilled nursing care at home, as long as the total cost is less than living in a skilled nursing facility.
  • The Veterans’ Administration provides home health care to eligible veterans with chronic health conditions.

For more information visit Graceworks at Home and the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.

Written by Bethany Village

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